Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Calming Colors, Trail Opera and Spiked Cocoa

Ha! I knew that would get ya all! WHAT???! Wait for it.....

After reading up on some fellow bloggers posts, and posting one of my own, I dressed and readied for the stable drive a day ago.
 It was 36 degrees and still windy, with drizzling rains. 
 I had offered to help out with feeding and what ever I had time and energies for, at my stable. The owners were out of town and or working late.
 I cleaned the boarders stalls the day before, what I could at least...most the horses poo and pee outside in the large runs, so that meant not much I could do there, as the manure was still frozen to the ground!
 Wa mare prefers her stall  for all that business- lucky me.

I had read my comments before I took off... CHEYENNE of "CHEYENNE CHRONICLES" had mentioned the fact he was all cozy, sitting inside(now I know who he was with too )with his Hot Cocoa and such, instead of braving  the elements and riding-LIKE CRAZY ME "~' !
I then decided to take some spiked Cocoa in a thermos, out to the stable and have it after I rode the arena today- Mine would have a little EXTRA WARMING capacities of Irish Cream ! I could have BOTH the cold ride and the HOT cocoa!

I also read  from Juliette of "HONEYSUCKLE FAIRE"  post, on energies and our human preoccupations -that can totally be felt by our equine partners.I REALLY AGREE and loved the post...It put a new "colorfull" twist on the subject "~'I have been having much FEAR related to riding the arena with my opinionated mare. So, I decided to be as bright, creative and hopeful as a Rainbow for her today! Thanks Jules!

One more illustration, to tell you how prepared I was for Success!
  "Calm, Forward Straights" sweet writer and rider, we  have been corresponding of late. She and I have opposite pensiveness. Mine in the arena-hers out on the trails. We've been cheering each other on & she has offered helpful encouragements.
 I wrote, in her comments recently, about how I got over fears on the trail...that was prompted by my Newbie trail horse,Washashe, 5 years ago. I had no riding partners back then when I started, it was still my first year of having the mare. So against all advise I would go out alone and adventure, with the mare. I always had the cell and left a msg to when I left and when I'd be back. This stable had only one trail they already knew the direction.
Washashe was not knowing me and my capacity for neither really.
She would stop dead-stop breathing-set her head so high, and I got the  feeling like= she wanted to bolt. I don't know how or why I thought to do this back then but, I would belt out loudly- in a sing-songy way, something to the effect of, " I am here with my horse, and you are there beyond our sight, wild animal...we know you are there"...
I called it "Trail Opera".  I would use heavy vibrato and actually SING out in a song, words that pertained to what was going on..real impromptu lyrics! That first time, It actually may have been a hunter lurking in the woods(or it could have been the wind) but...
It worked!!! It made me feel bigger than the noise she thought she heard.
 She would always calm down and start to breath again, as I sang out over the woods ( I think she was embarrassed and thought-oh lets move on already!) I know it wasn't the was me breathing, and almost chuckling I went into it all.
It was absurd truly,singing in the woods like that, to no one!

Off I drove to the stable .....truly inspired by my friends to make a difference in me, for my mare...

So all this back ground to tell you...the best laid plans can so awry!! I was driving along on a wet rainy day started to slushy rain...I suddenly noticed-snow on the ground in some fields. No problem, In thought. Well blast it started to accumulate on the road and as I got past the 800 foot level, I was tensing up badly.
Driving a new truck, heck, driving a truck at all in slick conditions..I'm not liking it and missing my smaller 4x4 Izuzu Trooper!!

I employed= then and there= in the truck- the arsenal I had planned for the stable and my mare!!! I sang out-ALL THE COLORS OF THE RAINBOW, while driving! I wanted the drink, but waited.
 I stopped as soon as I could,  turned my hubs and put her in 4 WD. Good thing I did too... I was approaching the first hill and this silly (that's NOT what I thought out loud) little truck owner was actually BACKING UP, in my lane, in the snow...I was frantically flashing my lights for him to kindly remove his little truck from my lane. If I stopped at this point-it was OVER, and I'd get stuck. He then did the other thing you never wnat ot see...he popped his silly (again, NOT what I said aloud) little arm out the waved me around. ON a BLIND HILL, IN THE SNOW!
By the time I got up that first hill and that was at the  900 foot level and no where to turn around...I saw them trucks....all lining the sides of the road, on the decent of the hill!!! The drivers all standing around, outside the vehicles looking at me, wondering. . . where I would slide off the road amidst thier vehicles! HOLY SNOW CRAP!
I was too far into it to stop...I would just be another one of them, in the ditch.
As people watched me pass them with a petirified face, I was NOT singing at this point, I drove on and prayed hard !
They looked at me, I could tell they thought..another one thinks they can do it!
WELL-I DID DO IT- PRAISE GOD! I went 15 miles per hour the entire way and did not vary  a thing-no braking no gas no turning of the wheels- down the hill to up the hill, didn't even fishtail! The Rainbow song changed to HALLELUJAH!

                                     These are from my phone's camera

Heavy snow made it so hard to open the gates!

 Of course, I had the wrong shoes on! I was only prepared for rain this day. Fortunatley, I had the boots in the truck! Had to use my feet to clear the depth of snows..

So, all this to say...the plans I had got "snowed over"!!! Ha!

It was so pretty and some, probably most- of you, have to deal with SO MUCH MORE than this measly 5 inches...but for us Low the 500 foot level..snow is a rare occurrence, and we make a hooting BIG deal out of it cause well, it is for us...we don't know what to do..they close schools and roads and  have service anouncements on staying home and not driving , get my point.
The rest can now be viewed with much fewer words......enjoy!!
For those of you who are so totally sick of the snow and want pull the trash can over to you now...sorry!

Yea, got my socks wet!

                                                                  Helloo My Snowy mare!

Don't know if you can see the little temp was completely bent over and on the ground, each section. So the first  order of business was to shovel  snow, so I could close the gate to the Maddy mare would not decide she could step out, then go on Walkabout!

Maddy investigating..ooou a shovel!

Hay to the horses, was the next order of business...then- Spiked Cocoa, I decided!

Little Arabian Zee,
 is the eldest among the Painted Forest Stable horses. She was a killer endurance steed in her day I will show you a photo of her doing her thing..she was awesome!

Willow mare~

the other  paint of "Painted Forest Stables"

Skye the Big QH

Big Black warm blood Theo- my mare's pasture mate~

And Mine...while I had to stomp my feet, for most all the other horses to acknowledge me, as I said their just get a shot that was not only  of their hineys...I simply said,  "WhoWho"... and the mare said WHAT?!
She keeps track of usually...even with hay in front of her.

This is where I decided to have a cuppa spiked Cocoa! Thanks CHEYENNE for earlier inspiration-
had NO IDEA how helpful it would be today!

Maddy mare was the last, in this order of horses, her stall is on the end.
 Today..she was the most photogenic! It also was after the cocoa....


It was now 6pm and time to dare the drive home,

Good night my mare~

NEXT TIME...we shall try for the COLORFUL-OPERA SINGING!


  1. You had some serious snow! So glad you kept your truck on the road. I must say tho, the snow added to your gorgeous photos!

  2. If I can be of any assistance in the future? I would love to help. BTW, I do a good line in, Comfort food, and other associated highly enjoyable, but terribly "bad for you food!" Lol.

    Glad you enjoyed it, that was a good post a some really good pics!

  3. Good driving job, keeping her between the ditches. Heavy wet snow is the worst to drive in.
    Love that third-from-last photo, even down to the wisp of hay- great shot!

  4. I'm not sure if it was the crisp scenery or the spiked cocoa, but you sure managed some mighty fine photos in this post. My favorite is the one of Maddy with the snow-covered Fir tree branch in the foreground. Lovely!!

  5. very lovely pics. and calming colors is a great title =]

    i am deff feeling calmer

  6. Sorry you didn't get to ride, but super glad your rainbow road opera helped you make it up the hill. 4WD rocks! You earned your spiked cocoa -YUM!!

    Love the pix in this post KK. Thanks for all of your encouragement - it's working ;)

  7. I really wanna see those photos of ZEE... don't forget K?!

  8. Ok that's serious snow even for us Mid-Easterners !! Glad you got there and back safely =) Love the pictures.

    You know I sing on horseback too! I also count strides outloud and do "Yoga" breathing.

  9. The photos are beautiful! I love the evergreens bent with snow.
    I'm going to try your singing tool next time I need it.

  10. Kacy!

    Thanks for the link over and kind words about my post.

    I am sorry you didn't get your ride in, but you sure have gorgeous photos to show for you troubles. That was a scary journey to the barn. I guess I take snow for granted and that the other drivers can drive in it. Out there it must be a mess when you have it so few times a year.
    That hot chocolate looked heavenly.
    I hope you get your arena time in soon. It probably wasn't meant to be that day!

    Take care, dear friend! Stay warm and happy. I can so tell how happy you are now that the days are getting brighter!

  11. weird, just today i brought a travel mug of hot cocoa outside to watch horses eat. (baasha plus one icy horse)

    it was way too early for spiking. maybe tonight.

    our plastic fence posts suffered greatly under heavy wet snow - they were bent completely to the ground! i had to take the whole thing down and just put them away until the snow was gone. thankfully they straightened out again. how is that possible? good things tposts don't bend in snow.

    i love your photos but am so thankful that we only have mud here at the moment.

  12. Lytha~
    Yea the Plastic temp fencing jsut could'nt do it this time...I was wondering if they would straighten again..good to know.
    Oou Icy horsey, I will come and catch up. Yea, I think this time last had feet of the white..nice break!

    Thanks, I do so enjoy the creativity of photography! YOU are so right, maybe I look for excuses but..if my energies are not UP- UP..I will not bring THAT COLOR into the arena!
    And YES again...I can even tell that the light for the extra hours in my eyes...has made HUGE improovements for my mind, body and spirit!

    It really does work. Horsey riding Opera- When You have fun with it and either have to think up words to sing, or just sing someting you already know..instantly, the body eases up and the mind is only thinking of how silly you sound and the next line of it!

    Jeni~ really threw me that day..These little breathing excersises really are a bag of helpful tricks that don't trick!

    Right back at ya and thanks!

    CrisC~ Gald to transmit the calm!

    Thanks you! The world we live in is such a gift to behold...even in tarnished capture beauty and equines together..oou lala!

    Shirley~ was an all oput effort to stay on the road... It worked out, thanks for the visit and nice words!

    Cheyenne~ You make me laugh and smile...Okay.bring it on...foods for the trails rider,food fancies~

    Sorry you had to see our snows after living with yours all winter... we really DON'T know what to do and though I have always driven in them having a Volkwagon and heavy Volvo growing's the others that cause me stress...stopping in front of me or backing up- in my lane!

    From one creative sort to the other, Thanks for the compliments...out of 100 pics 10 are really what I love!

  13. I hate driving in the snow and I don't think I've even tried in my truck but then my truck does not have 4 WD, what was I thinking?? Glad you got to the barn ok and you must have gotten home ok or we'd have heard that story too.

    I have done a little singing in the woods myself and humming in a class. Whatever it takes to relax and encourage breathing is good.

  14. I'm so glad to know that I am not the only one who sings on the trail! My songs are not as creative as yours. I usually sing Jingle Bells or Row Row Row Your Boat.

    My mare is very sensitive to me and my reactions. So if I think there's a problem she gets concerned. My singing is to keep me centered and breathing. Added bonus is that it keeps the bears and moose away.

    Excellent post and lovely pictures.

  15. Scary drive, but glad you got those snowy photos of the horses. Also, glad you had something nice and BRACING to drink in all that cold stuff.

  16. Haha, I sing to my mare too. Not so loud though (the neighbours don't know how lucky they are). Naloma once drank a whole mug of tea that a friend of mine was holding while having a conversation with me and meanwhile Naloma tiptoed nearer and dipped her tongue in the tea and drank it all. It wasn't spiked ;-)
    Great photos of the horses in the snow. Beautiful.

  17. Singing? Oh yes. We sing to our dogs and horses. I don't know why, and I can't sing, but they LOVE it. Back when I backed Rogo I used to sing quietly to keep my fear under control and it worked. SO glad to see somebody else does this !
    That snow is scary. Glad you made it okay. Good driving.
    My final comment? I love spiked cocoa! So good! I hope someday in the future we share a cup, even if we're thousands of miles apart at the time :)

  18. Some really beautiful shots in this post!!! And all from your camera phone?

    Really enjoyed the shots of the horses in their coats, and especially love the ones of your mare...beautiful! Especially the hot cocoa one and the one peeking out behind the evergreen!

    Happy Sunday to you both!


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